A unanimous Pasadena City Council agreed to have Mayor Bill Bogaard send a letter to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) expressing the Council’s concerns over the negative environmental, air quality, fiscal and neighborhood quality of life issues that a proposed tunnel extension of the 710 Freeway will have on Pasadena, especially if large, diesel-fueled trucks use
The City Council also directed staff to come back to the Council as soon as possible with an estimate on the costs for the City to conduct its own study on the 710 Freeway project. Metro expects to release its draft environment report on SR-710 in early 2014.
City Officials say Metro currently plans to include in its studies the possible use of the tunnel by truck traffic. Pasadena residents and Council members want written agreements to guarantee a ban on truck traffic if a tunnel is built.
About 150 people—most from Pasadena—attended a special hearing by the City Council in December on the SR-710 study and possible project by Metro. The meeting was the latest in a series of meetings and hearings held by the City Council in 2012 on the 710 Freeway. Although Pasadena, its residents and businesses will be directly impacted if the project is built, the decision to proceed with the project is not under City control.
A primary goal of the Metro project is to alleviate regional traffic congestion and improve mobility in the Los Angeles County region, specifically in the study area bounded by State Route 2 and the Interstate 5, 10, 210 and 605 Freeways. Alternatives still under study by Metro include:
• Completing the 4.5-mile 710 Freeway “gap” by building a tunnel extension through Pasadena to connect with the I-710 freeway in Alhambra
• A Bus Rapid Transit Line
• A Light Rail Transit Line
• Other transportation management strategies/projects per Metro.
Video archive of the recent Council meeting is online at http://www.cityofpasadena.net/Media. Click on the link for the
Dec. 10, 2012 meeting. Additional information can be found posted online at http://www.cityofpasadena.net/sr710/.